|Book of Leinster|
|Dublin, TCD, MS 1339 (olim MS H 2.18)|
|Also known as||Lebor Laignech (Modern Irish Leabhar Laighneach); Lebor na Nuachongbála|
|Date||12th century, second half|
|Place of origin||Terryglass (Co. Tipperary) and possibly Oughaval or Clonenagh (Co. Laois)|
|Scribe(s)||Áed Ua Crimthainn|
|Size||c. 13″ × 9″; 187 leaves|
|Condition||45 leaves lost, according to manuscript note.|
|Previously kept||by the Ó Mhorda and Sir James Ware|
The Book of Leinster (Middle Irish : Lebor Laignech [ˈl͈ʲevor ˈlaiɡnex] ), is a medieval Irish manuscript compiled c. 1160 and now kept in Trinity College, Dublin, under the shelfmark MS H 2.18 (cat. 1339). It was formerly known as the Lebor na Nuachongbála "Book of Nuachongbáil", a monastic site known today as Oughaval.
Some fragments of the book, such as the Martyrology of Tallaght , are now in the collection of University College, Dublin.
The manuscript is a composite work and more than one hand appears to have been responsible for its production. The principal compiler and scribe was probably Áed Ua Crimthainn, 313): Aed mac meic Crimthaind ro scrib in leborso 7 ra thinoil a llebraib imdaib ("Áed Húa Crimthaind wrote this book and collected it from many books"). In a letter copied by a later hand into a bottom margin (p. 288), the bishop of Kildare, Finn mac Gormáin (d. 1160), addresses him as a man of learning (fer léiginn) of the high-king of Leth Moga, the coarb (comarbu lit. 'successor') of Colum mac Crimthainn, and the chief scholar (prímsenchaid) of Leinster. An alternative theory was that by Eugene O'Curry, who suggested that Finn mac Gormáin transcribed or compiled the Book of Leinster for Áed.who was abbot of the monastery of Tír-Dá-Glas on the Shannon, now Terryglass (County Tipperary), and the last abbot of that house for whom we have any record. Internal evidence from the manuscript itself bears witness to Áed's involvement. His signature can be read on f. 32r (p.
The manuscript was produced by Aéd and some of his pupils over a long period between 1151 and 1224.From annals recorded in the manuscript we can say it was written between 1151 and 1201, with the bulk of the work probably complete in the 1160s. As Terryglass was burnt down in 1164, the manuscript must have been finalised in another scriptorium. Suggested locations include Stradbally (Co. Loais) and Clonenagh (Co. Laois), the home of Uí Chrimthainn (see below).
Eugene O'Curry suggested that the manuscript may have been commissioned by Diarmait Mac Murchada (d. 1171), king of Leinster, who had a stronghold (dún) in Dún Másc, near Oughaval (An Nuachongbáil). Dún Másc passed from Diarmait Mac Murchada to Strongbow, from Strongbow to his daughter Isabel, from Isabel to the Marshal Earls of Pembroke and from there, down several generations through their line. When Meiler fitz Henry established an Augustinian priory in Co. Laois, Oughaval was included in the lands granted to the priory.
Nothing certain is known of the manuscript's whereabouts in the next century or so after its completion, but in the 14th century, it came to light at Oughaval. It may have been kept in the vicarage in the intervening years.
The Book of Leinster owes its present name to John O'Donovan (d. 1861), who coined it on account of the strong associations of its textual contents with the province of Leinster, and to Robert Atkinson, who adopted it when he published the lithographic facsimile edition.
However, it is now commonly accepted that the manuscript was originally known as the Lebor na Nuachongbála, that is the "Book of Noghoval", now Oughaval (Co. Laois), near Stradbally. This was established by R.I. Best, who observed that several short passages from the Book of Leinster are cited in an early 17th-century manuscript written by Sir James Ware (d. 1666), found today under the shelfmark London, British Library, Add. MS 4821. These extracts are attributed to the "Book of Noghoval" and were written at a time when Ware stayed at Ballina (Ballyna, Co. Kildare), enjoying the hospitality of Rory O'Moore. His family, the O'Moores (Ó Mhorda), had been lords of Noghoval since the early 15th century if not earlier, and it was probably with their help that he obtained access to the manuscript. The case for identification with the manuscript now known as the Book of Leinster is suggested by the connection of Rory's family to the Uí Chrimthainn, coarbs of Terryglass: his grandfather had a mortgage on Clonenagh, the home of Uí Chrimthainn.
Best's suggestion is corroborated by evidence from Dublin, Royal Irish Academy MS B. iv. 2, also of the early 17th century. As Rudolf Thurneysen noted, the scribe copied several texts from the Book of Leinster, identifying his source as the "Leabhar na h-Uachongbála", presumably for Leabhar na Nuachongbála ("Book of Noughaval").Third, in the 14th century, the Book of Leinster was located at Stradbally (Co. Laois), the place of a monastery known originally as Nuachongbáil "of the new settlement" (Noughaval) and later as Oughaval.
The manuscript has 187 leaves, each approximately 13" by 9" (33 cm by 23 cm). A note in the manuscript suggests as many as 45 leaves have been lost. The book, a wide-ranging compilation, is one of the most important sources of medieval Irish literature, genealogy and mythology, containing, among many others, texts such as Lebor Gabála Érenn (the Book of Invasions), the most complete version of Táin Bó Cuailnge (the Cattle Raid of Cooley), the Metrical Dindshenchas and an Irish translation/adaptation of the De excidio Troiae Historia , and before its separation from the main volume, the Martyrology of Tallaght.
A diplomatic edition was published by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in six volumes over a period of 29 years.
Dunamase or The Rock of Dunamase is a rocky outcrop in the townland of Park or Dunamase in County Laois. The rock, 46 metres (151 ft) above a flat plain, has the ruins of Dunamase Castle, a defensive stronghold dating from the early Hiberno-Norman period with a view across to the Slieve Bloom Mountains. It is near the N80 road between the towns of Portlaoise and Stradbally.
Óengus mac Óengobann, better known as Saint Óengus of Tallaght or Óengus the Culdee, was an Irish bishop, reformer and writer, who flourished in the first quarter of the 9th century and is held to be the author of the Félire Óengusso and possibly the Martyrology of Tallaght.
Lebor na hUidre or the Book of the Dun Cow is an Irish vellum manuscript dating to the 12th century. It is the oldest extant manuscript in Irish. It is held in the Royal Irish Academy and is badly damaged: only 67 leaves remain and many of the texts are incomplete. It is named after an anachronistic legend that it was made from the hide of a dun cow by Saint Ciarán of Clonmacnoise.
Terryglass is a village in County Tipperary, Ireland. The small town is located on the R493 regional road on the north-eastern shore of Lough Derg near where the River Shannon enters the Lough. It is a civil parish in the historical barony of Ormond Lower. It is also an Ecclesiastical parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Killaloe,. Terryglass won the Irish Tidy Towns Competition in 1983 and 1997.
Saint Fintan of Clonenagh was an Irish hermit and monk. He was an Abbot and disciple of Columba of Terryglass.
Brandub mac Echach was an Irish king of the Uí Cheinnselaig of Leinster. His father, Echu mac Muiredaig had been a king of the Ui Cheinnselaig. They belonged to a branch known as the Uí Felmeda descended from Fedelmid, son of Énnae Cennsalach. His son Óengus, grandson Muiredach, and great-grandson Eochu were all kings of the Uí Cheinnselaig.
The Uí Ceinnselaig, from the Old Irish "grandsons of Cennsalach", are an Irish dynasty of Leinster who trace their descent from Énnae Cennsalach, a supposed contemporary of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Énda was said to be a grandson of Bressal Bélach and a first cousin of Dúnlaing mac Énda Niada, eponymous ancestor of the rival Uí Dúnlainge.
Togail Bruidne Dá Derga is an Irish tale belonging to the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. It survives in three Old and Middle Irish recensions, it is part of the Book of Dun Cow. It recounts the birth, life, and death of Conaire Mór son of Eterscél Mór, a legendary High King of Ireland, who is killed at Da Derga's hostel by his enemies when he breaks his geasa. It is considered one of the finest Irish sagas of the early period, comparable to the better-known Táin Bó Cúailnge.
Coirpre Cromm mac Crimthainn was a King of Munster from the Eóganacht Glendamnach sept of the ruling Eoganachta dynasty. This branch was centered at Glanworth, County Cork. He was the son of Crimthann Srem mac Echado.
Aodh is an Irish and Scottish Gaelic male given name, originally meaning "fire". Feminine forms of the name include Aodhnait and Aodhamair. It appears in even more variants as a surname. As a surname, the root or a variant may be prefixed by O, Ó, or Ui, Mac or Mc, or Nic.
Cín Dromma Snechtai or Lebor Dromma Snechtai is a now lost early Irish manuscript., thought to have been written in the 8th century AD.
MacGorman, also known as McGorman, Gorman, or O'Gorman, is an Irish Gaelic clan based most prominently in what is today County Clare. The paternal ancestors of the clan are of the Laigin and emerged in what is today County Waterford. As leaders of the Uí Bairrche, they competed with the Uí Cheinnselaig in the 5th century for the Kingship of Leinster, ultimately losing out in that specific arena, but holding on to significant lands in the Leinster area.
Áed Ua Crimthainn, also called Áed mac Crimthainn, was abbot and coarb of Terryglass, near Lough Derg in County Tipperary, Ireland. He was the principal scribe of the Book of Leinster, the Book of Oughaval, an important Middle Irish medieval illuminated manuscript, and is also believed to have been its sole compiler.
Oughaval, sometimes called Oakvale, is a townland in the civil parish of Stradbally, County Laois, in Ireland. It is the site of a sixth-century monastic settlement.
The Martyrology of Tallaght, which is closely related to the Félire Óengusso or Martyrology of Óengus the Culdee, is an eighth- or ninth-century martyrology, a list of saints and their feast days assembled by Máel Ruain and/or Óengus the Culdee at Tallaght Monastery, near Dublin. The Martyrology of Tallaght is in prose and contains two sections for each day of the year, one general and one for Irish saints. It also has a prologue and an epilogue.
Leabhar Ua Maine is an Irish genealogical compilation, created c. 1392–94.
Áed Ua Conchobair or Áed in Gai Bernaig was the King of Connacht, and reigned from 1046 to 1067. He was the son of Tadg in Eich Gil.
Énna Mac Murchada, or Enna Mac Murchada, also known as Énna mac Donnchada, and Énna mac Donnchada mic Murchada, was a twelfth-century ruler of Uí Chennselaig, Leinster, and Dublin. Énna was a member of the Meic Murchada, a branch of the Uí Chennselaig dynasty that came to power in Leinster in the person of his paternal great-grandfather. Énna himself gained power following the death of his cousin Diarmait mac Énna. Throughout much of his reign, Énna acknowledged the overlordship of Toirdelbach Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht, although he participated in a failed revolt against the latter in 1124 before making amends. When Énna died in 1126, Toirdelbach successfully took advantage of the resulting power vacuum.